Novo Nordisk has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Alkermes’s development and manufacturing facility in Athlone, Ireland.

The Danish company will pay a one-time cash payment of $92.5m for the GMP [good manufacturing practice] facility and associated assets. The deal is expected to close in mid-2024. Furthermore, Alkermes will retain all the royalty revenues from the products currently manufactured at the facility, as per a 14 December press release.

Novo Nordisk has been working to expand its manufacturing capabilities to keep up with the growing demand for its drugs. Last month, the company invested Dkr16bn ($2.3bn) to expand its manufacturing site in Chartres, France. The construction of the project is expected to be completed by 2028 and will include additional capacity for GLP-1 products such as Novo’s Ozempic (semaglutide).

In June, Novo announced plans to invest DKr15.9bn ($2.3bn) in expanding its manufacturing facilities in Hillerød, Denmark. The additional expansion is expected to start operation by early 2029. The company reported net sales of Dkr166bn in the first nine months of FY 2023, as per Novo’s Q3 financials.

This was driven by increased sales within the diabetes and obesity care segment. The two highest grossing drugs in the segment, Ozempic (semaglutide) and Wegovy (semaglutide) are forecasted to generate $21.6bn and $16.2bn, respectively, in sales in 2029, as per GlobalData analysis.

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The Irish facility is planned to supplement Novo’s manufacturing capacity for current and future oral products. Alkermes and Novo Nordisk also plan to enter into subcontracting arrangements in the deal-closing period. These may continue for some time after closing and through the end of 2025, as per the 14 December press release. These arrangements are planned to be operating cost-neutral to Alkermes over the subcontracting period.

Alkermis noted that it plans to be a ‘pure-play’ neuroscience company. To that end, it separated its oncology business to form an independent publicly traded company, Mural Oncology last month. The company’s neuroscience portfolio consists of marketed products such as Vivitrol (extended-release injectable suspension of naltrexone) for opioid and alcohol dependence, atypical antipsychotic Aristada (aripiprazole lauroxil), and the combination therapy Lybalvi (olanzapine/samidorphan) for the treatment of bipolar 1 disorder.